You have surely heard of the many Social Discount sites that have been popping up all over the Internet. Groupon, Social Buy, Living Social and Dealster are just a few of the many group discount sites out there. These sites offer rock bottom pricing on great deals around your city if enough people take advantage of the offer. This can mean savings of anywhere between 50-90% off of the actual retail price. It sounds great, but are these deals really too good to be true?
How Do They Work?
If you haven’t used these sites before, basically you will receive a daily email letting you know what the deal of the day is. The deals change each day and can be anything from food, to beauty treatments to products. The featured company generally has a write up explaining the deal and showing the regular price for the item. Each deal requires a certain number of purchasers, so if you want your deal, it is a good idea to spread the word. The deal is then purchased and can be redeemed at a future point for savings. But, what’s the catch?
What’s The Catch?
In reality, there isn’t one. Businesses get huge amounts of exposure and you can get some really great deals on a bunch of useful products and services. In fact, you might even find that these deals can help you afford a few luxuries that you would be unable to purchase otherwise. As far as personal finance is concerned however, you do need to keep a few things in mind to make the most of these sites.
Don’t Buy Things You Aren’t Going to Use
Remember a deal is only a great deal if you actually use it. If it goes unused, it is simply a waste of money, no matter how cheap. If you see a great price on a 30 day membership to the gym and purchase it, you had better go to the gym to make the purchase worth the money. Don’t let your purchased deals and vouchers go to waste. If you use these sites, make sure that you redeem your purchases every time. Often there are terms and conditions associated with each purchase, make sure you read these before finalizing the deal to make sure that you really are getting a bargain.
Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need
Similar to the don’t buy things you won’t use advice is don’t buy things you don’t need or can’t afford. Remember you are on a budget. If you are out of money, don’t use your credit card to charge a deal even if it seems impossible to pass up. You can find low prices, but you can also end up spending a fortune on neat things that you can’t afford. Determine how much you can spend each month and stop when you hit your limit. It is a good idea not to visit these sites if you don’t have money. It is easier to not see the deal than to pass it up.
Take advantage of the many money saving opportunities that the Internet provides. Just remember that you have to use your judgment even if something is a great deal, you might not need it.
Do you use deal sites? Did you have a good experience?